The Pentagon, the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, is located in Arlington, Virginia.

Essex County, Virginia, has a rich history that dates back to the early 17th century. Originally inhabited by the indigenous Rappahannock tribe, the area was explored and settled by English colonists in the 1600s. The county was officially established in 1692 and named after the English county of Essex. During the colonial era, Essex County was primarily an agricultural region, with tobacco being the main cash crop.

In the 18th century, Essex County played a significant role in the American Revolution. Many residents joined the patriot cause, and the county provided troops, resources, and supplies to the Continental Army. The Battle of Tappahannock, fought in 1777, was a notable event during the war, with local militia engaging with British forces and ultimately repelling their invasion.

During the 19th century, Essex County experienced a period of economic growth, partly due to the expansion of transportation infrastructure. The Rappahannock River served as a vital waterway, allowing for the transportation of goods and fostering the development of towns like Tappahannock. The construction of railroads in the late 1800s further enhanced trade and commerce in the county.

In the 20th century, Essex County continued to evolve, adapting to modern changes while preserving its rural character. The construction of the Downing Bridge in the 1930s significantly improved transportation connections, linking Essex County to neighboring counties and facilitating travel. Today, Essex County maintains its agricultural heritage while also welcoming new industries, such as tourism and recreation, contributing to its vibrant and diverse economy.

  • 1692 - Essex County is officially established in the British colony of Virginia.
  • 1702 - The county courthouse is built in Tappahannock, which becomes the county seat.
  • 1742 - The first known record of a courthouse fire, leading to the loss of many early records.
  • 1774 - The county supports the American Revolution and sends troops to fight against the British.
  • 1781 - Tappahannock is raided by British forces during the American Revolutionary War.
  • 1830s - Construction of the Port Royal and Tappahannock Railroad begins, connecting the county to Richmond.
  • 1861-1865 - Essex County experiences significant involvement in the American Civil War.
  • 1914 - The Rappahannock River Ferry Service is established, linking the county to Maryland.
  • 1927 - The Downing Bridge, the first bridge over the Rappahannock River in the county, is opened.
  • 1963 - Construction of the Robert O. Norris Bridge, a larger and higher capacity bridge, begins.
  • 1966 - The Robert O. Norris Bridge is officially opened to traffic.
  • 2003 - Essex County celebrates its 300th anniversary.